Closing in on those clays..?

Oppy has been fairly scooting north, driving between two ridges that have been christened “Shoemaker Ridge A” and “Shoemaker Ridge B”. Now she’s almost at “The Promised Land” where the phyllosilicates have been detected from orbit, and after another couple of sols of nudging forwards, actually eastwards, a little down the slope of Cape York, she should be able to start a really serious science campaign to detect and analyse those very important clay-bearing minerals that will tell scientists a lot about the conditions at this part of Mars in the past, maybe even give hints as to how friendly this part of the rim of Endeavour Crater would have been for life…

Before we look at that, here’s a rather nice (I think!) colour mosaic I’ve made, showing the “Kirkland Lake” boulder field…

That’s a heck of a view, isn’t it? Click on it to enlarge it and you’ll see sooo much detail and texture on those rocks, it’s like you’re standing there next to them… šŸ™‚

But back to Oppy’s *next* destination – the rectangular-shaped bright features on the east-facing slope of Cape York. Let’s take a look at where Oppy is at the moment…

That’s not a real image: I’ve put a fake Oppy in there – at the end of the dark trail leading in from the lefty – to show you where Oppy is (roughly) and how big she is compared to the features we’re about to study.

Now, the features the scientists are particularly interested in are the straight line features, the bright lines, just beneath Oppy’s current position…

We can’t quite see those yet, they’re a little too far over the rim of Cape York for Oppy’s cameras to be able to make out properly, but we can see that Oppy has driven into an area with a lot of interesting bright material at her feet…wheels.. whatever…

And here’s that view in 3D…

I must admit, I’m a little bit lost here, I’m not sure which bright features on the images are which ones seen in the HiRISE images, so rather than guess I’m just going to wait and see what the next drive brings. I did have a play about with some of the navcam images in the hope of clearing things up, but I think I’ve probably just confused myself even more…!

…so I’m just going to step away from the keyboard and see what happens next out there, on Mars… šŸ™‚

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3 Responses to Closing in on those clays..?

  1. Bev says:

    Wow, Stu. You weren’t kidding about the detail in your colour mosaic. I feel like I should be scanning the regolith for fossils; the detail is that fine!

  2. Great view of boulder field… šŸ™‚

  3. vanDivX says:

    I also thought its amazing. Also thought if you were here as planetonaut that you could lie down in the shelter of these boulders for the night without worrying something would bite you during night. Wish it was more worrying really.

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